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Eckert, Karl (Anton Florian)

Eckert, Karl (Anton Florian)

Eckert, Karl (Anton Florian), German composer and conductor; b. Potsdam, Dec. 7,1820; d. Berlin, Oct. 14, 1879. At the age of 6 he was considered a prodigy. The poet F. Forster became interested in him and sent him to the best teachers. He studied piano with Rechenberg and Greulich, violin with Botticher and Ries, and composition with Rungenhagen in Berlin. At the age of 10 he wrote an opera, Das Fischer madchen and at 13, an oratorio, Ruth. After completing his training with Mendelssohn in Leipzig, he began his career as a conductor at the Berlin Royal Opera, where his opera Das Kathchen von Nürnberg was premiered in 1837. With the outbreak of revolution in 1848, he went to the Netherlands and Belgium. He then conducted at the Theatre-Italien in Paris (1851–53), and also toured the U.S. as an accompanist to Henriette Sontag (1852). He was conductor of the Vienna Court Opera (1853–60) and of the Vienna Phil. (1854–60). After serving as conductor of the Stuttgart Court Opera (1860–67), he was called to Berlin in 1869 to succeed Heinrich Dorn as conductor of the Royal Opera. Unlike Dorn, Eckert was a friend and champion of Wagner. Although he composed several ambitious works, his music met with little success. His songs, however, proved popular; of these, the “Swiss Echo Song” is best known.

Works

DRAMATIC Opera : Das Fischermadchen (1830); Das Kathchen von Nürnberg (Berlin, 1837); Der Laborant im Riesengebirge (1838); Scharlatan (Königsberg and Berlin, 1840); Wilhelm von Oranien (Berlin, 1846). OTHER: Oratorios; Cello Concerto; songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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